It's Open House London next weekend, which I am looking forward to. Any recommendations for places to see? Cheesegrater is obviously on my list, and I have tickets to 240 Blackfriars and CityPoint. What are you planning to see?

These are some of the places I have been to in the past:

2013:
Crystal Palace Subway
Canada Water Library
Carpenters' Hall
Chartered Accountants' Hall
One Canada Square
Citigroup Centre
Brunel Museum
Battersea Power Station
Peter Jones
Holy Trinity Church
Argentine Ambassador's Residence
Romanian Cultural Institute
Adaptable House

2012:
City Hall
Westminster City Hall
The Pumphouse, Pimlico District Heating Undertaking
Limehouse Town Hall
Limehouse Accumulator Tower
Skyroom and Architecture Foundation
Masonic Temple
St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
Custom House
Apothecaries' Hall
City of London School
One New Change

2011:
Lloyd's of London
BT Tower
Broadgate Tower + 201 Bishopsgate
30 Crown Place
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
Spitalfields Charnel House
Sandycombe Lodge
The LuxPod
Institut français du Royaume-Uni
College of Psychic Studies
Balfron Tower
Chrisp Street Market Clocktower

2008:
Neasden Bunker
The Stables
Master Mariners
Foreign Office
Banqueting house? Admiralty house? My records are incomplete for the Saturday.
Babylon Roof Gardens
Shell Grotto
York House
Orleans Gallery
Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare

2007:
Vintner's Hall
30 St Mary Axe
Old Turkish Baths
Village Underground

2006:
BedZED
Gibbs Building
Neasden Bunker
The Stables
Blizard Building
Brunel Museum

2005:
Neasden Bunker
St Anne's Church

Photos on Flickr: Open House London.
Puddle
Inside Battersea Power Station was a tent with a grey carpet, and inside the tent was a model of Battersea Power Station.. but once you got outside the tent:

Birds chirped and flew from chimney to chimney, and plants grew amongst the bricks. People peered into the gaping holes.

Rust spread, windows smashed, and the building started to crumble, but the power station, Battersea Power Station, was still magnificent.

Thousands of people stood inside it that weekend, gazing up at the remains in awe.

Photos on Flickr: Battersea Power Station.
One Canada Square
I was excited to have got a ticket to visit One Canada Square during Open House London weekend.

It was the tallest building in London between 1990 and 2010, but now is only the second tallest, as the Shard is taller. The views were still great though.

The tour we were given was interesting. Firstly, we were shown a model of London with light up train lines, and then after that, a secret larger model of the Canary Wharf area, with tiny people and new buildings that had yet to be built.

We were also shown pictures of the area in 1987 (not much there), then 1991, and the present, and were told about how the area grew.

I remembered how my mum drove up to Canary Wharf in what must have been the early 1990s, and we parked there, in the car-park and wandered around. I remember it being quiet and there not being many shops open. I remember an expensive chocolate shop there then, and fountains, I think.

We were also shown the tech incubator section of the building, which had a few kinetic sculptures, a hackathon going on, and lots and lots of jars of Smarties.

The Citigroup Centre was next and we were shown an empty floor that was where Olympic planners once worked, and mostly stared out the window, and at One Canada Square.

Then we headed to the Brunel Museum. I had been on their train tours and down the shaft before, but not in the actual museum. We watched a video about Brunel. Apparently the Clifton Suspension Bridge was supposed to have sphinxes on it. We visited the 'Midnight Apothecary' - a vegetable/herb roof garden above the Thames Tunnel, and drank cocktails. I had one with pear, lavender and basil in it.

Canary Wharf
View from One Canada Square
The Chartered Accountants' Hall had a bridge going across the library.

Chartered Accountants' Hall
Chartered Accountants' Hall
Tree
I attempted to visit Tower 42, but saw the length of the queue, so decided to see what else was in that area.. The Carpenters' Hall looked nearby.

I stood in the Carpenters' Hall, looking around me, but imagining that everything was made of wood: the chandeliers, the mirrors, the signs depicting "The Evil May Day 1517", the stained glass windows with compasses, the carpet (again with compasses), the mugs with the "The two allies - tied and allied", the Victorian frog mugs, the sphinxes, and so on. It wasn't, but I was glad to furnish the Carpenters' Hall further with my imagination.
Canada Water Library
The second place I visited during Open House Weekend was a library: Canada Water Library.

It is admittedly open to the public most days anyway, but I was drawn to it during Open House, as it was on the way to other locations I intended to go to.

I think about buildings more during Open House Weekend, I think about architecture and space, and notice different details that I would not normally. I don't feel so self-conscious taking photos in libraries, in department stores, and so on.

Canada Water Library is only a few years old, which is surprising, as a lot of libraries have closed in recent years. It is an unusual shape and sits next to the water, and there is a café at the bottom, where you can eat cake and drink coffee.
Saturday:
Crystal Palace Subway
Canada Water Library
Carpenters' Hall
Chartered Accountants' Hall
One Canada Square
Citigroup Centre
Brunel Museum

Sunday:
Battersea Power Station
Peter Jones
Holy Trinity Church
Argentine Ambassador's Residence
Romanian Cultural Institute
(Tube walk from Knightsbridge to South Kensington)
Adaptable House

More details and photos at another time.
Crystal Palace Subway

On the edge of the park at Crystal Palace is an abandoned subway full of pillars and ornate ceilings. It is Open House Weekend and I put on a hard hat and look around.

Inside the subway I wander around the pillars, and stare at what remains of the rusty light fittings, and the crumbling walls, parts of which are prettily overgrown with creepers.

A postcard of the subway depicts sphinxes, but it is not until I walk through Crystal Palace park, they are revealed, hiding amongst the undergrowth.

A leaflet says:

"The subway was intended to provide safe passage to the Crystal Palace for first class rail passengers arriving into the High Level station."

"A team of Italian Cathedral craftsmen created the Byzantine styled structure in 1865."

More information: Crystal Palace Subway website.
30 Crown Place View from 30 Crown Place30 Crown Place30 Crown Place is located in Hackney, just about.
Broadgate Tower
The Broadgate Tower and 201 Bishopsgate were listed in the Open House London booklet together, as they are joined to each other. There were great views from the top of the Broadgate Tower, and I could see another Open House that I had been to in the past - Village Underground, with the words, "Let's adore and endure each other."


View from the Broadgate TowerVillage Underground

BT Tower

Oct. 2nd, 2011 07:32 pm

BT Tower
View from the BT Tower














I stood at the top of the BT Tower during Open House London weekend, gazing at London, which looked beautiful from there, sipping coffee and eating cupcakes, being amazed at the view.

View from Lloyd's
Lloyd's of LondonLloyd's of London
Lloyd's of LondonLloyd's of London
Lloyd's of London

I visited Lloyd's of London during Open House London weekend."Lloyd's isn't a company - it's a marketplace, offering a range of insurance products". They have insured things such as: the Titanic, the World Trade Center, the tongue of Gennaro Pelliccia, Costa Coffee's Italian Master of Coffee.

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